IDC is highlighting some of the new partnerships that are debuting in the 2019-20 competitive season. Katrine Roy & Claudio Pietrantonio are the first team we are featuring in this season’s series.
Tell us about your individual skating journeys.
KR: I started skating at 4 years old and competing at 5 as a single skater. When I was 12, I suffered a really bad knee injury and almost stopped skating. That’s when I really considered starting ice dancing since quitting wasn’t an option for me. Looking back, I’m so glad that I made this decision because I love everything about ice dance and never get bored of it. I am now training at LMK International Skating School in St-Hubert, Quebec, Canada with my amazing coaches Julien Lalonde, Mylène Girard, and Lynn McKay that bring out the best of us.
CP: I started skating at the age of 4 and ice dance at 16. For the past 4 seasons, I’ve had great success at the novice and junior levels. In 2016, my previous partner and I achieved a second place at the novice level at the Canadian Championships. Two years later, we managed a third place at a Junior Grand Prix in Egna, Italy. This third place was my first ever international medal. During my two junior seasons, I was fortunate enough to represent Canada for a total of 5 international competitions (2016 Lake Placid International, 2016 ISU JGP Cup of Mordovia, 2016 ISU JGP Pokal d. Blauen Schwerter, 2017 ISU JGP Riga Cup, and 2017 ISU JGP Egna Neumarkt). At the conclusion of my final junior season, I ended my junior career ranked 60th of 105 in the world. During the 2018-2019 skating I was unable to find a new partner and was forced to sit-out the season.
How did your partnership start?
KR: Claudio and I spent the last season skating together while searching for partners, but we both couldn’t find the perfect fit. After a while, we and our coaches realized we made a good match and liked to work together. We finally made everything official in March. I’m really excited for this new partnership!
CP: At the end of the 2017-2018 season my previous partner, Alicia Fabbri and I decided to go our separate ways. This in turn was the beginning of yet another partner hunt for me. After some try-outs in the last year, I hadn’t managed to connect or click with a new potential partner. Meanwhile, during my partner search, Katrine had also split with her partner. Since Katrine and I already skated at the same training centre, we decided to skate together for the year as to not lose touch with skating with a partner. As March 2019 came around, we decided to make it official and skate together.
What do you like most about skating with your partner?
KR: Claudio likes to work on small details that make all the difference and never let go until he’s very happy with it. I think we have an easy time working together and have great communication. With him, I feel free in my skating. I can indulge myself in the interpretation of the music and really feel the emotion of the program.
CP: What I like the most about skating with Katrine is that she’s driven to learn and to be the best, as I am. Her competitive side is one that matches my own competitiveness, too. We get along together very well, which in turn drives us to work hard together as a team.
If you could have a lesson from any ice dancer past/present, who would it be?
KR: There are a lot of ice dance couples that I admire. I love the expressions and the character that Madison Hubbell portrays in her programs and the connection that she has with Zachary Donohue, but if I could have a lesson from any ice dancer, I would choose a team, Piper Gillies and Paul Poirier because of their creativity. They always seem to innovate our sport and come up with new stuff that no one has thought of before.
CP: If I could have a lesson from any ice dancer it would probably have to be Scott Moir. As cliché of a choice it may be, Scott Moir has been an idol for me way before his first Olympic medal. What I would want Scott to mentor me on would have to be his body movement on the ice. I deeply admire the way he actually dances while performing. Furthermore, Scott’s effortlessness is something that is quite impressive as well. When he skates you can barely tell that he’s pulling a sweat, which I think is exactly what an ice dancer should be doing; making it look easy, while technically and artistically performing at an extraordinary level. It is something I strive towards…with my own style of course!
Can you give us some background on your programs this season?
For our Free Dance, we will be skating to “Dit quand reviendras-tu” by Sarah La Carpentier. This music is a very soft and yet dramatic music piece that will bring out the emotionally-intense sides of us. As far as the Rhythm Dance goes, we will be skating our quickstep-rhythm program to “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” by Paola Fabris. This song is from a 1932 Yiddish musical named “I Would If I Could”.
This season we’re looking to exhibit a big contrast between both our free dance and rhythm dance. Our free is a program that is very romantic, gentle, and dramatic whereas the rhythm dance is playful and energetic. We believe that these opposites in concept choices will help show the world our ability to be dynamic with our expressions and interpretations with our programs, as well as with each other, despite being a new team.
Is there anything you would like our readers to know about you as a team?
We are extremely excited to share with everyone our new partnership, and the programs that we are working on. We are both driven to be the best that we can possibly be this year. We have a lot of training, seminars, mentoring, etc., planned in order to deliver memorable programs this competitive season. Finally, we are also very excited to announce that starting this upcoming 2019-2020 season, we will be competing for Italy.